“Hammer Fever”

Writer: Terry Colins adapted from novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

Artist: Roger Vilela

The shuttle Discovery launches with its mixed American and Russian crew. They get a good look at the approaching comet and the computer data indicates it has a high probability of hitting the Earth. On the Earth everyone is preparing for the worse. Buying supplies and heading for the hills. Which is a good thing for the comet does hit. Hammerfall creates massive tidal waves, hurricanes, flooding and earthquakes. The Earth is seriously damaged, and civilization destroyed.

The second comic is unfortunately the final one. What was supposed to be a six issue run ends thanks to the big comic book bubble burst of the nineties. Innovation went belly up and no more adaptation. That is a shame since I enjoyed what they were doing. The art was even getting better. Innovation at the time had the fourth largest market share after DC, Marvel and Dark Horse. So, they must have been doing something right. If anything, this has got me interested in reading what is the greatest disaster book in history. Maybe someday someone will give this novel the proper graphic treatment it deserves.


“The Anvil”

Writer: Terry Collins adapted from novel by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

Artist: Roger Vilela

Two amateur astronomers discover a comet. It is named Hamner-Brown after them. Hamner is a rich millionaire and with a powerful senator starts to lobby to get a mission to examine it. He funds a documentary and goes on the Tonight Show. Johnny Carson accidentally calls it Hammer’s comet when talking about the possibility of it hitting the Earth. A fundamentalist preacher starts calling it the Hammer of God and that it will hit to punish society. Hamner continues his publicity to get the space mission that will go with two Russian cosmonauts. The senator meanwhile decides to play it safe and start stockpiling survival supplies on his California ranch.

Lucifer’s Hammer is the best doomsday novel that was ever written. I love this book and Innovation has done a good job of adapting it. The writer decided to set it in contemporary 1992 but otherwise faithfully adapt it. I remember many of the scenes like the explanation of comparing it to a hot fudge sundae when explaining to the public. Or how the senator admonishes his aid for not buying American four-wheel drives. He has to keep up appearances for political reasons if the comet doesn’t hit. The only complaint I have is the artwork. It is very sketchy and undefined. Not a big fan of it but otherwise a fine start to adapting one of my favorite novels.